Zopiclone belongs to the benzodiazepine group of drugs and is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. If you have sleeping problems it can help you fall asleep and reduce the number of times you wake up at night. This medicine shouldn’t be taken for more than 7 to 10 consecutive days. It is very important to follow the instructions given by your doctor and take Zopiclone exactly as prescribed.
Cautions with other medicines
Some other medicines can interfere with Zopiclone and cause some side effects. Be careful, because certain medicines may increase the drowsy-making effects of Zopiclone.
Inform your doctor before starting to use Zopiclone if you are already taking any of the following medicines:
- Medicines to treat depression;
- Medicines to treat schizophrenia;
- Medicines to treat bipolar disorder;
- Medicines to treat epilepsy;
- Strong painkillers (methadone, codeine, morphine, pethidine, oxycodone or tramadol);
- Medicine to treat HIV infections (such as ritonavir);
- Medicine used to calm or reduce anxiety and sleep problems;
- Medicines for fever, rashes and other allergies that can make you sleepy (such as chlorphenamine or promethazine);
- Antibiotics used to treat infections (such as erythromycin and clarithromycin);
- Medicine used to treat fungal infections (such as ketoconazole and itraconazole).
Mixing Zopiclone with herbal remedies and supplements
You shouldn’t take any herbal remedies which can make you sleepy during your treatment with Zopiclone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any herbal remedies, supplements or vitamins. If you mix them with Zopiclone, this can increase the drowsy-making effects of your medicine.
Doctors are worried that mixing prescription medicine with herbal remedies and supplements can be extremely dangerous. You must be aware, that if you are taking medicines combined with herbal medicines, you must carefully read the leaflet and patient information. Talk to your doctor if you have any further questions.
The use of prescription-only medicines should always be supervised by a healthcare professional. Your treatment with prescription drugs mixed with herbal remedies and supplements should be monitored by your doctor.
Here are some recommendations you need to follow:
- Herbal remedies come from plants. Make sure you choose a standardised remedy which contents in the same in each bottle or tablet you use.
- Plant remedies not always are safer than prescription medicines. You should know that all of them can have side-effects and interact with other medicines.
- Supplements (including vitamins, minerals, and animal and plant products, such as cod liver oil) can also have side-effects and interact with other medicines.
Herbal remedies and supplements which can be used for sleep problems
Most of these treatments work on gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain linked to anxiety. Reduced GABA levels, or impaired function, in the brain can cause anxiety, depression, insomnia, and epilepsy. There is no evidence that herbal remedies and supplements drugs cause addiction. All of them are less powerful comparing to conventional sedatives or sleeping tablets.
List of remedies include:
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis);
- Matricaria recutita (German chamomile);
- The oat (Avena sativa);
- Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia);
- Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata);
- Starflower / borage (Borago officinalis);
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis);
- Melatonin (N-Acetyl-S-methoxy tryptamine);
- Humulus lupulus (common hop or hops);
- Amino acids;
- Vitamins, trace elements and supplements;
- Bachflower remedies (BFRs).